Monday, May 19, 2008

2007-08 Rink Wrap: Quintin Laing

From Backstrom to Steckel, we're taking a quick look at and grading the 2007-08 season for every player* who laced 'em up for the Caps during the campaign (and is still with the team) with an eye towards 2008-09. Next up, Quintin Laing.

Contract Status: UFA; 2007-08 salary of $475,000
Age (as of October 1, 2008): 29
NHL Seasons (including 2007-08): 1+
2007-08 Regular Season Stats: 39 games played, 1 goals, 5 assists, +4, 10 PIMs
Key Stat: Laing was 23rd among NHL forwards in blocked shots, despite playing 26 fewer games than any of the players in the top 22 and half as many (or fewer) as 20 of the 22.
Mildly Interesting Fact: On November 30, Laing became the first player in Caps history to wear the number 53.

The Good: The Caps' Masterson Trophy nominee, Laing scored his first NHL goal (a game-winner) and increased his career games played at the sport's highest level by 1300% in 2007-08, but his real value is as a penalty killer, specifically as a shot blocker extraordinaire (see above, and check out OFB's interview with Laing from a couple of days after his - pardon the pun - quintessential shot blocking performance January 21 in Pittsburgh). Opponents scored fewer goals and took fewer shots per sixty minutes of ice time when Laing was on the ice than when any other Cap was, and no Cap forward was on the ice for more blocked shots per sixty than Q. In 24 games in December and January, Laing had a goal, four assists and a plus-five rating.

The Bad: Laing had the worst shooting percentage of any Cap forward and is currently on a 34-game goal-less streak. He created fewer goals per game than any forward on the team other than Donald Brashear that ended the season with the team and even with his penalty killing skills was only third among Caps forwards in shorthanded time on ice per game.

The Vote: Rate Laing on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.

The Questions: Does Laing have a role on the 2008-09 Caps? What will it take for him to earn a 10 rating next year?

If you've missed any of the previous 2007-08 Rink Wraps, click here, get caught up, and vote - polls will stay open for a while.

* And by "every," we mean every one who played more than just a handful of games.


Rage said...

This was an emotional vote. A 10 simply for that Pens game. The whole team plays such a better defensive game when he's out there. I love the dude.


1) Had to give him a high grade, an 8, simply because there were ZERO expectations prior to the season. Heck, anyone else even hear his name before his recall??
2) His was a nice story. Toiling in the minors for a number of years, then makes the most of his chance with the Caps. Playing his heart out, and leaving nothing on the ice after a game. Some of his PK shot blocking sequences were high lite material.
3) Having said that, it would NOT be a good sign if he were to have to play a significant role on next year's team. He simply doesn't have the skills to play a regular shift on anything but the 4th line, and the PK. Looking at the Caps' depth chart there seem to be a few guys ahead of him. He's earned a shot, but if all goes well, he shouldn't make the team barring injury.
4) To get another high grade he'd have to make the team out of camp, play regularly, and contribute a tad offensively.

Paul said...

I loved how Quintin plays. He gave his all. So I gave him a 9. I never give a 10 because I think there is ALWAYS room for improvement.

On that note, I personally don't think we'll see alot of Quintin playing next season. He has no skill, no scoring touch, no offensive ability what so ever.

In order for him to make a legitimate shot at making the team next season (barring injury, which brought him here in the first place), he needs to improve on his puck handling skills and scoring.

I loved his heart and was very happy for him that he was this year's Capitals Masterson Nomination because he definitely showed what perseverance really is, but he'll be the first to admit that he isn't an NHL caliber player, other than the will to sacrifice his body to block a shot.

Tyler said...

I'm trying to wrap my mind around the idea of 53 and his pre-season "potential." In a related story, is one divisible by zero?

The 53-in-'08-'09 question boils down to this: Is the Caps' PK bad enough to give 53 a sweater to play 4-6 minutes of PK a night?

Shaggy said...

I was at that game and I tell you, while the previous 50 minutes wasnt pretty, our boys fought back and forced that incredible OT. Laing's work on that 5-on-3, against Malkin in particular, was one of my best moments as a Cap fan.
Guys like Laing are why guys like Sutherby and Emmy fight for minutes: they just want it so much more.

NS said...

i doubt he will get any ice time. if Fedorov is resigned, there is 0 chance.

billy said...

I like QLaing a lot. Dude is a shot blocking machine. Unfortunately, I don't think that's enough to justify starting him every day next season.

He can't score, and he doesn't bring that much of a physical presence or speed to the table. Assuming the Caps bring back Bradley, and everyone else gets healthy, I just don't see where he fits into the starting lineup.

Honestly, I see him in Hershey or in the press box most of the season.

b.orr4 said...

Laing has the heart of a lion, but marginal NHL talent. With the caliber of players on the roster and in Hershey, I just don't see a spot for him next season. Knowing how much George admires a player like Quintin, I wouldn't be surprised if he helped him find a spot on another team.

Iffy said...

Nice post JP. Q also has a very strong CORSI (+/- of shots directed at net) which is valued quite highly in some parts of the hockeysphere.

I am wondering about your source for salary numbers.

According to NHLSCAP, Laing in UFA in 2009/2010 with a 2008/2009 salary of $500K (2-way). You have him as UFA and 2008/2009 salary of $475K.

In the Laich post, you have shown him as RFA with 2008/2009 salary of $725K. NHLSCAP has him at RFA with 2007/2008 salary of $725K.


1) Salary/contract numbers:
2) This site agreees with JP on Laing, but apparently your info on Laich is acurate. All assuming this site has its facts up to date.

JP said...

Obviously a typo on Laich - I'll correct it, thanks.

exwhaler said...

NHLSCAP, I believe, tends to be more accurate than NHL Numbers. The Hockey News directly links to the site for salary information, for instance.

breed16 said...

I gave him a 7, I guess...?

I have nothing further to add, except to say that if there is "hockey player's face" in a dictionary somewhere, Quintin Laing's mugshot ought to be the picture.

JP said...

I gave him a 7. The offense was even a little less than what I expected, but the defense was a bit of a pleasant surprise and the heart was through the roof.

RandyD said...

Ditto with everyone on Laing -- he's a great guy to watch and you can tell he wants to play. I just get excited for him when he does well.

I gave him an 8 since I had so little expectations for him. I almost considered a 9 or 10, but his offensive numbers just aren't there. Which is why I see him as purely a depth guy next year. He's an outstanding team guy and a great defensive player, but he doesn't have a well-rounded game to put him on the ice every night. Especially not with the depth at forward the Caps will have next year. He'll be a sentimental favorite, but he'll need to show some great improvement at camp to make the team next season.

dmg said...

I gave him a 9. The fact that he was called up alone gets him in the 6/7 range in my book and the fact that he was called up, got in to a pretty good number of games and made some obvious contributions...well that's almost a good a year as I could imagine someone with Laing's background having.

Brian said...

I would love to see Laing on the Caps roster next year. Alas, there are too many forwards and not enough slots, plus Laing has a two-way contract, so it will be easier to send him down.

I hope Laing becomes Hershey's Crash Davis, and teaches the "kids" what it takes to make it to the NHL.


1) Geez, how many guys got a 10 AND a 1 with these ratings?

usually frustrated caps fan said...

I love Laing but if it's a choice between Laing or Federov for that roster spot, Feds will win it every time. That said, if its possible Laing gets a sweater on heart alone.

Sam said...

love the man, make sure he says in DC for a while